Saturday, September 15, 2007

The God Delusion #33: Dawkins Now Selling T-shirts

There is no reason atheists should not have their own fashion line. After all, Christians have been marketing t-shirts and bumper stickers and action figures and jewelry and anything that that one could ever think of. Now Richard Dawkins is taking advantage of this, and we can't fault him for that.

There are "scarlet letter t-shirts" for women. The letter 'A' stands for "atheist." The t-shirt will get people to ask you, "What's the 'A' for?" The wearer of the t-shirt will answer, "Atheist."

There are t-shirts for men.

On the sleeve of the t-shirt are the words: "Out Campaign."

This is Dawkins's new thing to try to get atheists to come out of the closet and "stand out" and be proud of their atheism.

Dawkins is also selling buttons:

Lapel pins:

And some bumper stickers.

We can assume more is coming.

Here are Dawkins's promo-statements:

"Atheists have always been at the forefront of rational thinking and beacons of enlightenment, and now you can share your idealism by being part of the OUT Campaign. " But surely Dawkins's GD is not "at the forefront of rational thinking," nor can Dawkins be thought of as some "beacon of enlightenment." As we and many others have pointed out, GD is filled with irrationality and internet cut-and-pasting.

"We are human (we are primates) and we are good friends and good citizens. We are good people who have no need to cling to the supernatural." But surely Dawkins cannot be defined as "good." He is positively mean-spirited, and even takes it out on Mother Teresa who, arguably, has done far more good for this world than he has.

As a college philosophy professor I very much welcome atheists who express their atheistic disagreements in my classes. And I do think more authentic relationships can form when people "come out" as to their worldviews.

But I do not think these t-shirts will help. I am no fashion expert, but it is hard for me to imagine atheists actually wearing these things. I find them ugly, and think they could actually hurt the atheist "out campaign," causing even more atheists to stay in closet with their atheism, which is where these shirts belong.